Operating Energy Demand of Various Residential Building Typologies in Different European Climates

Brian Cody, Wolfgang Löschnig, Alexander Eberl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The work described below compares three very different residential typologies in terms of their energy performance in operation. The purpose of this paper is to identify the influence of building typologies and corresponding urban morphologies on operational energy demand and the potential for building integrated energy production.

Two of the typologies studied are apartment buildings while the third comprises single-family homes located on small plots. An important factor under consideration is the insertion into the respective urban design configuration so that mutual shading of the buildings and the ensuing impact on energy performance is evaluated. Heating and cooling demands, as well as the potential for building-integrated electricity production were investigated for four different European climates in a dynamic thermal simulation environment.

The results show that the investigated apartment buildings have a lower operational energy demand than the single-family home in all climates. This advantage is most pronounced in cool climate conditions. At the same time the investigated single-family home has the highest potential for building integrated renewable energy production in all climates. This advantage is most pronounced in low latitudes.

The study builds up on generic buildings that are based on a common urban grid and are easily comparable and scalable into whole city districts. Still, these buildings are planned into such detail, that they provide fully functional floor plans and comply with national building regulations. This approach allows us to draw conclusions on the scale of individual buildings and at an urban scale at the same time.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)226-250
JournalSmart and Sustainable Built Environment
Issue number3/4
Publication statusPublished - 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
  • Architecture
  • Building and Construction

Fields of Expertise

  • Sustainable Systems

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